Pro-gay NFL player, Chris Kluwe, is to be honoured by an LGBT community group, for being an advocate of equal rights and equal marriage for the LGBT community.

Mr Kluwe, a punter for the Minnsota Vikings, made the headlines in September when he defended Brendon Ayanbadejo, a player for the Baltimore Ravens, against a call from Delegate Emmett C Burns Jr, to reprimand Mr Ayanbadejo, who recorded a video for a gay rights advocacy group last October.

A statement on the website of The Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center of Orange County (The Center OC), an LGBT community centre and LGBT rights advocacy group, says it will be honouring Chris Kluwe with its 2013 Torchbearer Award, at the Indigo Ball in April.

It read: “We will be honoring Chris Kluwe, an Orange County native who plays for the NFL Minnesota Vikings whose name has shown up everywhere after publicly supporting gay marriage.”

Chris Kluwe told PinkNews.co.uk: “This a great honor for me and I will be attending the ceremony. Hopefully it inspires other people to realize that it doesn’t matter what our race, gender, or sexuality happens to be, what matters is how we treat each other.”

“We are thrilled to honor Chris,” says Brian Stoddard, The Center OC chairman. “He has been a remarkable champion for our community and has vigorously championed marriage equality.

“That Chris is an Orange County native and an NFL player gives him a unique opportunity to lead a reasoned discussion on full and inclusive civil right in our community and around the nation,” Stoddard continues. “I can’t think of anyone who more deserves our 2013 Torchbearer Award,” reports OC Weekly.

Chris Kluwe spoke about the possible marketing and endorsement opportunities, surrounding the first openly gay NFL player, whoever that may be.

Mr Kluwe previously responded to Matt Birk, a fellow NFL player who recorded a video opposing the amendment for equal marriage. In his response, Mr Kluwe said: “If you want us to understand why same-sex marriage is bad for kids, you need to provide some sort of substantial evidence”.

Chris Kluwe, later quit his blog at an online daily newspaper, due to an editorial published by the site’s editors which, he said, expressed an anti-equal marriage stance going against the political neutrality the site claimed to have.

Brendon Ayanbadejo, shared his elation at waking up to find that Maryland voters had chosen to legalise equal marriage in the state, saying it was “like Christmas”.